Tyler Butler – Cradle Robber b/w Bury Me In The Garden

The balladeer of our bitter winds, Tyler fucking Butler. He is back. Butler remains the lyricist par excellence. “Cradle Robber” is fair warning that you husbands out there better not let this handsome devil around your wife. Our protagonist softly celebrates the excitement of reaping where he does not sow, if I may speak so euphemistically. Butler brings together the space and meaning of the cradle robber’s act so clearly when he says of his mistress’ cuckold: “he lays to sleep against your back, my child swells against your stomach.” Natal imagery is no stranger in the Tyler Butler lyrical oeuvre. It takes a different shape in “Bury Me In The Garden.” Here our protagonist and his darling are now well past their fecund years, but a new more naturalistic birth is possible upon the singer’s death. The darling that survives him is commissioned to plant cooking herbs and ivy on top the grave. She can ingest these herbs while the ivy wraps around the house and into their bedroom. Her lover’s materiality, imbued with his presence, imbues her space and self. We have here a modern funereal myth, if I may now speak so disenchantingly. It is a story of return that slakes the reaper’s cruel separation. It is possibly Butler’s most engrossing and spiritual love song to date. Anyone who’s known absolute love knows that death becomes a different thought in its consuming wake. Songs like this, reminiscent of Iron & Wine’s “Naked As We Came,” rise up to deal with this dizzying thought of separation. Kudos, Butler. You are a poet. As such, these songs deserve to be rendered here in full:

Bury Me In The Garden

When I’m gone my darling
gonna bury me in the garden
lay my weary head under the soil.
Raise a crop above me
of cooking herbs and ivy.
I will climb my way back to our loving home

Stay with my darling
embrace me in darkness
hold me until the morning breaks the sky.
Stay with me darling
enfold me in silence
I knew nothing until you held me in your arms

When I’m gone my darling
gonna bury me in the garden
and lay my weary head under the soil.
My body has been borrowed
from the earthworm and the sparrow.
I am everything that cycles and returns.

Stay with my darling
embrace me in darkness
hold me until the morning breaks the sky.
Stay with me darling
enfold me in silence
we are young and we are years away from gone.

When I’m gone my darling
gonna bury me in the garden
lay my weary head under the soil.
Raise a crop above me
of cooking herbs and ivy.
I will climb my way back to our loving home

Cradle Robber

I want to steal you from your man
take you far away
and build a home up in the forest
lay to sleep on your breast

So hide the things we do at night
your husband drinks in the town
I cross the long fields and pastures
find you working in the yard

I want to steal you from your man
he lays to sleep against your back
my child swells against your stomach
a raven tangle of wind

So hide the things we do alone
I press my lips on your skin
and sing a song of the forest
I am the egg theif, the cradle robber


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